Electric Bike Outfitters 48V Burly Kit Review

Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Review
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Installed On Giant Road Bike
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Geared Hub Motor Power Cable
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Downtube Mounted Battery
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Advanced Lcd Display With Usb Port
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Trigger Throttle Optional Hydraulic Brake Inhibitor Sensor
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Dolphin Battery Pack 528 Watt Hours
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit 2 Amp Ebike Battery Charger
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Optional Simple Led Control Pad
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Inside Geared Hub Motor Copper Winding
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Planetary Geared Hub Motor Inside White Grease Axle
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Review
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Installed On Giant Road Bike
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Geared Hub Motor Power Cable
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Downtube Mounted Battery
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Advanced Lcd Display With Usb Port
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Trigger Throttle Optional Hydraulic Brake Inhibitor Sensor
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Dolphin Battery Pack 528 Watt Hours
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit 2 Amp Ebike Battery Charger
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Optional Simple Led Control Pad
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Inside Geared Hub Motor Copper Winding
Electric Bike Outfitters 48v Burly Kit Planetary Geared Hub Motor Inside White Grease Axle

Summary

  • An efficient, compact, electric bike kit, with silver or black color options and multiple wheel sizes and hub spacings to suite a wide range of bicycle platforms
  • The downtube battery pack keeps weight low and center on the frame, it can be charged on or off the bike and the plugin port is located away from the crank arms for protection
  • Trigger, half-twist, and full-twist throttle options offer power override at any level of assist, deep display with multiple speed options between zero and 28 mph
  • Additional work is required to install kits (or money if you work with a shop), wires usually cannot be internally routed, delayed speed readout on the display, two bolt battery pack mount
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike kit is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Electric Bike Outfitters

Model:

48V Burly Kit

Price:

$1,412

Suggested Use:

Cargo, Commuting, Cruising, Mountain, Neighborhood, Road, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2), Moped or Motorcycle (Class 4)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

30 Day Return, 1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Canada, Europe, Worldwide

Model Year:

2018

Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Motor Weight:

5.75 lbs (2.6 kg)

Frame Fork Details:

100 mm Hub Spacing Compatible, 12 mm Threaded Axle with Machined ~9.8 mm Spacing

Frame Rear Details:

120 mm, 135 mm Hub Spacing Compatible, 12 mm Threaded Axle with Machined ~9.8 mm Spacing

Gearing Details:

9 (Single Speed or Shimano 6 or 7 Speed Cassettes or SunRace 8 and 9 Speed Cassettes)

Brake Details:

Mechanical Wuxing 5 Star Brand Four Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors, Optional Motor Inhibitor Switch for Hydraulic Brake Levers, Disc or Linear-Pull Caliper and V-Brake Compatible

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 36 Hole, Machined Sidewalls, Silver or Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, with Nipples, Silver

Wheel Sizes:

16 in (40.64cm)20 in (50.8cm)24 in (60.96cm)26 in (66.04cm)27.5 in (69.85cm)28 in (71.12cm)29 in (73.66cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Female USB Type A Charge Port on Battery Pack for Diagnostics Only, Julet Color Coded Water Resistant Wiring (Customizable Lengths and Extenders for Motor and Control Systems), Optional Zinc Coated Steel Torque Arm, Optional Silver or Black Motor Color, Optional Wuxing Half or Full Twist Throttle (Default is Trigger Throttle), Optional LED Display (Mode: Low, Med, High, Battery Level 4 Dots, Speedometer)

Other:

Locking Downtube-Mounted Battery, Compatible with Disc Brakes or Caliper Style Brakes (Clamp Diameter 22.2 mm), 17 Amp Controller, 1.9 lb 2 Amp Charger, Enhanced and Re-Written KT Display Manual

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Electric Bike Outfitters

Motor Type:

Front-Mounted Geared Hub, Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

816 watts

Motor Torque:

21 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

50 Samsung 18650 (13 Series, 4 Parallel)

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

528 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

27 miles (43 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

KT-LCD3U, Fixed, Backlit, Monochrome, Grayscale, Buttons: Up, Power, Down, (Hold Up and Down for Settings, Hold Up for Backlight, Hold Down for Walk Mode)

Readouts:

Battery Level (5 Bars), Backlight Indicator, Brake Inhibitor Indicator, Trip Time, Assist Level (0 to 5), Speed (MPH or KMH), Avg Speed, Max Speed, Motor Watts, Motor Heat (Fahrenheit or Celcius), Odometer, Trip Distance, Battery Voltage, Outside Temperature (°F or °C)

Display Accessories:

USB Type A Port

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Twist Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (8 Magnet Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (Default 20 MPH)

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Written Review

Electric Bike Outfitters (EBO) is a Denver, Colorado based company that has been in business since 2015, and is now expanding to other states and even shipping ebike kits worldwide! The founder, Jason Livingston, has always struck me as a relaxed and honest guy. I have known him since 2015 when we reviewed some of his first products. EBO kits have limitations, sure, but the 30-day return policy and one-year warranty is reassuring for a product like this, that tends to be priced lower and is prone to more complications than complete electric bikes. He does such a good job in fact, that many electric bike stores will carry his kits and perform conversions for customers so they don’t have to get their hands dirty. I have consistently been impressed by the lengths to which Jason will go to customize each sale… for the Burly kit, he offers hub casing and wheel color options (black or silver) as well as two display types, a trigger, half-grip, or full-grip twist throttle, and hand spoked 16″, 20″, 24″, 26″, 27.5″, 28″ (or 700c), 29″ or even fat bike rim! That means you could convert everything from recumbents, to kids bikes, to full-sized city bikes, tandems, trikes, and even mountain bikes, as long as you can figure out a way to mount the battery pack. Electric Bike Outfitters will even create cables that are longer than normal, so you can mount the display, battery, and throttle in the best possible locations vs. compromising. You can see the EBO headquarters location and workshop in the video review above, and it’s clear that Jason is organized and detail oriented. Compared to most purpose-built electric bikes, the 48 Volt Burly conversion kit is affordable and flexible, but not quite as beautiful looking because of the extra cables and bigger battery box. It helps a lot if your bike frame is black or dark grey like the Giant road bike example. Settings wise, you can lower the top speed to feel safer, make the throttle active in assist level zero so you can ride like a scooter, and enable cruise control so your wrist won’t get tired! So many options, but the default configuration is a 20 mph top speed with throttle override (at full power) in assist levels 1-5 but not zero. I was told that cruise control is disabled and the bike starts in assist level zero for safety reasons, and that makes sense. This kit can be adjusted to go faster, and used as a Class 3 speed pedelec, up to ~28 mph, or a Class 4 off-road product with the throttle offering over 20 mph top speeds. You can dig in confidently, and experiment with options by using the online manual that Jason has edited and clarified. You can also just call EBO and reach him for quick questions. In short, this kit will transform almost any human powered bicycle into something a bit more fun, efficient, and capable. Indeed, pulling electricity from the grid to ride further is actually more efficient in most cases than a human being eating and digesting more food and then pedaling! The EBO 48V Burly kit is the second lightest system in his line, and I found that it was extremely satisfying and capable on flat pavement and packed dirt for my 135 lb body weight. As a more active rider, I prefer the nimble feel of geared hub motors and appreciate the lower battery mount position found here vs. the rack mounted EBO Cruiser kit.

The motor that comes with this kit is a planetary geared design that Jason modified to work with a wide variety of forks and rear dropouts. The Aluminum alloy shell is tapered inward to avoid scraping the frame, a problem I have encountered with some older kits such as the Hill Topper. The EBO planetary geared motor is built onto a 12 mm threaded axle with 9.8 mm flat cuts on each side, which fit into dropouts and push agains the frame as the motor turns. By default, the kit does not come with an external torque arm to spread the force of the motor, because it is not as powerful as all of the other EBO motors, but you can pay a bit extra if you do want a torque arm because of softer or failing dropouts on your individual bikes. The left side of the casing has threaded eyelets for mounting a disc brake rotor, but the rim also has machined sidewalls so the kit is compatible with linear pull caliper or v-brakes in addition to disc brakes. The motor is spoked into each rim by hand, with thicker 12 gauge spokes that increase strength. Jason unscrewed and opened one of the motors so we could look at the copper winding and planetary gearing inside. The gears were plastic, which is not uncommon for motors like this, I have found that it is still very durable but also quiet and lightweight vs. steel or aluminum gearing. This motor freewheels efficiently when you coast, only weighs ~5.75 lbs total, and ramps up smoothly vs. feeling jerky. The hub spacing sizes you can oder are 100 mm (for front wheel fork mounting) or 120 mm or 135 mm hub spacing (for rear wheel mounting). If you opt for a rear wheel configuration, you’ll usually get better traction from the tire because body weight tends to be distributed towards the back of bicycles, as well as working with a stronger mounting point… but it can be more difficult to install a rear wheel, and more crowded. This is because many bikes have rear derailleurs and disc brakes with extra cables for shifting and braking. A rear wheel setup will also have at least one sprocket, and the EBO Burly kit can be configured with a single speed, 6, 7, or 9 speed cassette to replace your existing hardware. This kit is compatible with multiple chainrings, and you could end up with a 21 or 24 speed like we saw in these reviews… and that’s rare for purpose built electric bikes. If you currently have a quick release wheel setup, the Burly will replace it with the solid threaded axle and nuts. You’ll have one additional cable to worry about (protruding from the right axle), and this is something to be very careful with. Try not to let the bike tip over and bend this cable or let it snag on foliage or rocks as you ride. It’s a vulnerable point for most hub motor powered ebikes! One happy benefit of this drive system however, is that it completely separates pedaling from the motor, and reduces wear on the chain, sprockets, and derailleur, compared to a mid-drive system.

Powering this kit is a Lithium-ion battery pack, made with Samsung 18650 cells. They’re configured as 13 in series and 4 in parallel to offer 48 volts and 11.6 amp hours (though Jason advertises 11 to set expectations more realistically). Hub motor powered ebikes tend to feel zippy and fun, but aren’t as efficient as most mid-drives. They work easily with throttles, don’t require a custom frame design to interface, and aren’t as vulnerable to rock strikes (lowering your mid-frame ground clearance as a mid-drive might). So, the battery pack itself is reasonably lightweight at ~7.1 lbs, and it interfaces with a plastic slide which you need to screw onto your frame somewhere. There is a sturdy metal track inside the plastic slide, with long slots for inserting bolts. Ideally, you’ll be able to mount this to bottle cage bosses on your downtube. This is what was done for the Giant demo mountain bike you see in the video and images above. It positions the battery weight low and center while protecting it from getting kicked as you mount. Lithium-ion cells are known for being relatively lightweight but very durable and long lasting. They don’t develop a memory if you forget to charge them right away, but they are still heat and cold sensitive. Jason recommended recharging after the pack had been depleted to around 20% vs. recharging after every short ride. He explained that this would allow for more full cycles, and help the cell chemistry last longer. However, if you go below 20%, there’s a chemical change in the batteries and this could be hard on them. It’s best to store the battery pack in a cool, dry location, and you can charge it either on the frame or off. It locks securely to the frame but has a hinged handle on top for safe lifting. I do have a few gripes about the battery pack, and the first one is that the slide mount only attaches with two bolts in most cases. Compared to purpose-built e-bikes, it’s just not as sturdy or nice looking (newer bikes have batteries that are sunk into the downtube a bit for even lower weight and sturdier positioning like this). The EBO Dolphin style battery pack may not fit at all on some youth, folding, or step-thru frames (and for that, EBO has the Cruiser kit with rear-rack battery mount). The battery has three ports in the right side (a fuse, charging point, and USB port), and I found the rubber charge port cover a bit tricky to seat properly… I had to be intentional about lining it up exactly before pushing in with some force. The USB port on the battery is disabled because Jason said it can slowly discharge the battery (potentially taking you below the 20% point). The battery charger itself is pretty basic, providing 2 Amps of power output for regular charging speeds, it’s not super compact or lightweight at ~1.9 lbs, but is still small enough to toss into a bag and bring along on rides. My final complaint about the battery pack is that you have to turn it on independently from the display, and this takes a few extra seconds. The time isn’t such a big deal, but you also have to remember to turn it off after each ride (or the pack can slowly drain), and if you hop onto the bike before turning the battery on, you might have to bend way down or twist in an uncomfortable way to activate it. This is a minor gripe, one that isn’t unique to EBO kits or even purpose-built electric bicycles, but one worth noting.

And so, let’s imagine that you have charged the battery, mounted and locked it to the frame, turned it on by pressing the silver circular button on the left side (which has a blue LED glow once activated). Now, you can finally press the power button on the control pad! Actually, you hold it for a couple of seconds, and then the LCD screen (or LED console) comes to life. The default display hardware is a beautiful backlit LCD with integrated USB charging port, but EBO does offer to swap it for a basic LED console to reduce handlebar clutter and limit the fancy look of the kit (which could attract unwanted attention in some situations). As much as I love the LCD, and will be focusing on it from here on out, the LED pad is nicer than average because it shows a speedometer in addition to the current charge level and assist mode. Neither one of these two display panels is removable, but both can be swiveled a bit to improve readability or reduce glare. So, the LCD shows all sorts of menus but only uses three buttons to operate. And they are located within reach of the left grip, on a remote button pad. This control system combines simplicity with depth, and is intuitive to use, without requiring that you look down all the time once you get the hang of it. The power button in the center of the remote button pad allows you to cycle through trip stats like odometer, trip distance, average speed, max speed etc. and the up and down arrows allow you to raise or lower the assist setting. By default, the bike is set to assist level zero, so that the throttle is inactive. Once you arrow up to 1-5, the pedal assist sensor goes live and you can instantly use the throttle with full power. Again, it ramps up smoothly and feels a bit more refined than some other systems I have tried, but is definitely more zippy than the EBO 36V Burly kit. I prefer to pedal with an efficient, lower level of pedal assist, with occasional bursts of power to catch up with friends or climb hills, and this system lets me. Whether you’re riding in bright light or darkness, the LCD should be viewable, because you can hold the up arrow to activate backlighting. Holding down will activate walk mode if the bike is not moving more than 6 mph already. If you enable cruise control in the settings (by holding up and down simultaneously) you can then hold the down arrow if you’re using the throttle at any set speed above 6 mph to activate cruise control and give your wrist or thumb a break. It’s a feature I don’t see a lot, and one that some people might really appreciate for long commutes our touring. There are so many settings to explore here, including lower top speeds… or more or less sensitivity in the cadence sensor. Jason convinced me that eight magnets was enough for their cadence disc (verses 12 magnets that I have seen on some other ebikes and kits). He explained that the disc itself is smaller and less likely to be bumped, but also still very responsive. Apparently, some people want to set their cadence sensors to be less sensitive, so that the bike won’t surprise them if an accidental partial pedal stroke is made, and you can indeed make the cadence sensor less responsive with the settings menu here. The cadence sensor itself is one of the more difficult parts to install with this kit, because it requires a bottom bracket wrench or help from a shop to get on. You have to take the crank off first and actually slip the sensor and magnetic disc over the spindle. It’s not an easy clip-on design, but the benefit is that it should be more sturdy and reliable in the long run. In short, I appreciate how the display that comes with this kit is so useful and that this bike can be customized to perform as you prefer. It’s not limited or locked up like most purpose built ebikes… it even gives you USB power for maintaining a phone, music player, or lights on the go. My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t always show your current speed. Jason explained that there is a delay in the speed reading with their kits due to a new software update (which allows for 36 volt and 48 volt power sources) and that it can take up to 20 seconds to calculate vs. being instant. It’s not something that impacted how the bike actually performed during my test rides, but it did confuse me a bit during the first couple of moments. I thought something had gone wrong and then asked Jason for help. I was thankful that Jason was aware of the issue and honest about it as we talked on camera. He said that they’re working on shortening the delay of the speed readout.

A the end of the day, this kit is using proven hardware (a geared hub motor and cadence sensor) that isn’t as fancy as some of the newest ebike technology, but gives you lots and lots of options for how to operate it. Even though cadence sensors are known for producing more of an on/off feel, the motor has been designed to ramp up smoothly, so it isn’t as jerky or startling. The control systems are intuitive, but deeper than normal, and not locked. This kit will appeal to people who want to ride a bit faster or have more weight to move around (body weight, cargo, or a heavier bike). You can coast efficiently with this kit because there is no cogging or reduction gearing at the bottom bracket, it’s easy to pedal around even when the motor is turned off because it only adds ~15 lbs to the bike (the Giant Escape road bike conversion I reviewed here only weighed ~40 lbs total). I meet a lot of people who want larger batteries, and it appears that you can actually daisy-chain packs and accomplish that here! I saw a really cool setup on a recumbent trike with two batteries being built with the 48 volt Burly kit while visiting the shop and I show this in the video for a moment at timetamp 8:20. For me, the 350 to 816 watt output of this kit was very satisfying, but I only weigh ~135 lbs and enjoy pedaling. There’s always a trade-off between cost, weight, and performance with bicycles, and this was one of my favorite kits on offer for a single-person electric bike experience. For people who want more power, check out the 48 volt 500 watt Mountaineer kit. Big thanks to Jason and his team for hosting me and partnering with me on this review. It was nice to catch up with him and see how the product has been refined since 2015. He is expanding in a way that seems sustainable, definitely growing, and I love that his support is still above average for the industry (at least the kit industry). It’s part of the slightly higher pricing, and also what makes dealer sales possible. I was impressed to hear that several Denver ebike shops actually carry his kits and offer them as an alternative over purpose built products. There’s something to be said for recycling an existing bike, breathing new life into an old favorite, or building a truly custom setup that isn’t available anywhere else.

Pros:

  • EBO has been in business since 2015, they offer a generous 30-day return policy with a one year warranty, and they ship worldwide… I trust them a lot more than some of the generic kits found on Ebay
  • The Burly kits offer a lot of choice in terms of color, both the hub casing and rim can be ordered in silver or black to match your bike
  • Whether you’ve got a recumbent, kids bike, folding bike, city bike, or mountain bike, it seems like Electric Bike Outfitters can build a wheel to fit your bike because they spoke in-house and build to order
  • EBO uses nicer parts on their rims and thicker spokes to handle the additional forces of a hub motor, their new Julet connectors are water tight and color-coded for easier assembly and repair
  • Safety is a big focus for me, so I appreciate the more sensitive cadence sensor, adjustable top speed settings, different throttle options (trigger, half-twist, and full-twist) as well as the brake lever motor inhibitors
  • If your bike uses hydraulic brakes, EBO does have an optional sensor and magnet unit that can be screwed and glued on to enable motor inhibiting, but it’s not as elegant or simple as the stock mechanical brake levers, but it’s a nice option to have
  • The display panel is large, easy to read, full of interesting settings to experiment with (and EBO has a nice manual to help you do so on their website), and it has an integrated USB charging port, though the display cannot be easily removed for protection at bike racks or wet days
  • Even if EBO eventually goes out of business or changes some of their kit hardware, you should still be able to get parts and have your battery case re-packed because they are not software locked and follow an open industry-standard vs. being proprietary
  • Given that the battery pack weighs ~7.1 lbs, it’s great that there’s a handle built into the top, so you can carry it more securely, I suggest storing it in a cool dry location and avoiding extreme heat and cold
  • On the one hand, installing the hard-mounted cadence sensor takes more time and tools than one that is glued or zip-tied on, but on the other hand, it is going to be more secure this way, and I found that it worked very well during the ride tests
  • The hub motor can be setup in a front or rear wheel configuration, and EBO offers single speed, 6 to 9 speed, and Shimano and Sun Race cassette options
  • Apparently this kit is named the Burly because the battery is tough and the whole system tends to be reliable, it’s one of the more popular options that EBO sells because it positions battery weight low and centered for improved handling and steering
  • Being able to transform an existing bike into electric with multiple drive modes and higher speeds like this for just over $1.4k seems pretty good to me, there are cheaper kits out there, but most of them don’t offer this level of performance or support
  • For those who want a really compact display, or just less flashy hardware on their bike, EBO offers a black LED control pad with integrated buttons (shown in the pictures above), and I like this thing because it also has a basic speedometer! most other LED control pads only show your battery charge level and assist
  • You can activate walk mode to help move the bike by holding the down arrow if it is standing still, if you enter into the menu settings you can activate cruise control and then when riding over 6 mph, hold the down arrow for a few seconds to set cruise speed, in the settings you can also enable throttle mode at assist level zero if you want… or even remove the throttle and only use pedal assist only as a Class 3 ebike going up to ~28 mph, there are just so many options
  • Before shipping each battery, the team at Electric Bike Outfitters actually drains and refills it to test all of the cells, I was told that they experience a 1% failure rate and by testing like this, it saves you time and hassle as the end consumer
  • The actual motor casing has been custom designed by Jason, the founder of EBO, and he made it fit on a wider number of narrower forks like the Giant road bike in the video above, it works with linear pull brakes or disc brakes (you can mount dis brake rotors directly to the side of the hub casing)
  • Hub motor ebikes can often have more pedal gears to work with than mid-motors (because they can easily support multiple front chainrings), and shifting gears causes less wear because the motor power is separate from the pedaling drivetrain

Cons:

  • The battery charger is a bit basic, only offering a standard 2 Amp power output, and it’s not super compact or lightweight at ~1.9 lbs… still, it should fit into your backpack or other bags easily for charging on the go
  • Unlike a purpose-built electric bike, kits usually have extra wires that aren’t as hidden or neat looking, the battery mount slide connects to the downtube with two bolts vs. three or some even sturdier custom designs
  • The 8-magnet cadence sensor worked pretty well, and can be adjusted for sensitivity in the settings area of the display, but it simply isn’t as fluid or dynamic as a torque sensor or multi-sensor, there’s a bit of lag starting and stopping
  • Geared hub motors tend to produce more buzzing noise than gearless, especially when running at higher power, this one is about average but you can always get the lower powered 36V kit if you want to be stealthier
  • The little rubber cap that protects the charging port on the right side of the battery can sometimes be difficult to seat, it’s a minor annoyance but something worth fiddling with each time to protect from dust and water
  • Installing a kit like this will take a bit of time, energy, and possibly additional tools like a crankset puller and bottom bracket wrench, you might even want to get your local ebike shop to help you, and that adds to the price
  • The display panel has a ~20 second lag before showing your current ride speed, I was told that this due to a software update they made which allows for both 36 volt and 48 volt batteries to power the EBO kits, apparently the speed sensor is integrated into the motor hardware, the delayed readout is a minor annoyance and can be a bit confusing at first if you mistakenly think that something is broken because the display is saying “0 miles per hour”
  • This isn’t a big complaint, but the USB charging port on the battery pack has been disabled (to reduce phantom power draw over long periods of disuse), there’s a second USB port on the lower right side of the LCD display panel, but sometimes it’s nice to use the battery itself as a backup power source off the bike
  • Most hub motors have the power cable entering into the axle from one side, and this can be a point of vulnerability if the bike tips or you ride close to obstacles that could snag or scrape it, a few of the new Dapu motors have their power cables tucked very closely (behind the disc brake rotor) but I don’t think that you can order them aftermarket as kits
  • Turning this bike on and off requires two steps, which adds a bit of time, you first have to click the battery pack itself on and then press the power button on the control pad, just remember to turn it all off before dismounting, transporting, and storing to prevent accidental activation

Resources:

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Court
1 week ago

Hi guys!

In recent years, I have discovered a couple of good resources for getting help with refilling and repacking batteries for electric bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, hoverboards, neighborhood electric vehicles, and other products that use higher watt hour battery packs (often with Lithium-ion, Lithium-polymer, or Lithium iron phosphate LiPo or LiFePO4 cells).

It sounds like some of the fancier battery packs (Bosch, BionX, Stromer etc.) are more proprietary in design, and if the battery management system (BMS) is damaged or loses power for a moment, the internal memory will be erased and the battery becomes permanently useless or "bricked". For this reason, it seems wise to get help before a battery completely goes dead if possible.

The first resource I discovered was called Rechargeable Power Energy (RPE), and this was back in 2016. I believe that they are based in Las Vegas and part of a larger battery company that also sells kits. In recent years, they updated their website and seem to be operating as the EBike Marketplace. I created https://electricbikereview.com/guides/how-to-replace-an-ebike-battery/ with some pictures and an interview with Sam, from the Electric Bicycle Center in Fullerton California, where he talks about working with this company. You can reach their main landing page for battery repairs https://ebikemarketplace.com/collections/rebuilt-batteries. They advertised on EBR for a short period in late 2017/2018 and then I was told that they were restructuring or having some business changes and needed to pause. I welcome your feedback about them and my goal here is to guide people towards the best resource so they don't have to throw batteries away or end up in a frustrating, time consuming business exchange.

The second, more recent, resource I discovered was called Hi-C Battery. This happened when I was in Denver, Colorado filming reviews for Electric Bike Outfitters. The founder of Hi-C is Patrick Duggan, a former automobile mechanic who lots of shops in Denver know and have worked with for their own battery needs. Patrick is a high-speed kit guy who not only repacks and repairs batteries, but also tries to upgrade them to offer more capacity. He and I spent some time talking on camera and that is included in the EBO tour video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0HDwy5w4uU. Patrick has been super friendly and responsive in sharing what services he is working on offering and asking for feedback about https://www.hicbattery.com/, which looks pretty good.

In my experience, Patrick has been the most responsive and seems to offer the widest range of services for ebike battery repair and repacking. He strikes me as an expert and my goal in sharing with you here is to help reduce waste by recycling and re-using existing ebikes vs. having to buy a new one. Many companies, including Bosch, seem to have their own programs and replacement packs available, but many older or smaller companies may not provide this level of support or simply may have gone out of business. I welcome your feedback and links to other great service providers and programs for recycling old packs, tips on shipping with hazmat hazardous materials, and your experience actually working with these companies.

Here are a few closing notes from a text exchange that Patrick and I had recently. He said that he has been studying reviews on EBR to determine which battery pack designs to stock and sell. He believes that Hi-C will be able to cover 75% of the batteries being sold with his replacements, about 15% of bikes will have to recycle the original case and rebuild the cell insert which is more expensive. Most of the cells he uses are high drain Lithium-manganese (INR) chemistry. The final 10% of batteries use the proprietary BMS and may be rebuildable... but only if the power has not shut out completely and reset the software. He is also able to rebuild custom packs for electric rides which I review sometimes on https://electricridereview.com/. He told me that one of the main reasons he has chosen to offer rebuild services is that he hates to see useable items wind up in the landfill. He's not into planned obsolescence... and I agree with him there :)

Ann M.
10 months ago

No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric recumbent bikes from Electric Bike Outfitters as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.

Alphbetadog
12 months ago

Also consider installing a kit such as the Electric Bike Outfitters if you like your current bike.

Ken from Philadelphia
12 months ago

I purchased this bike, https://biria.com/bike/balloon-7, on 12/1/2016. I had been looking for a used one for about 6 months with no luck. My bike is black with black wall tires. It's a nice bike even without electrics.
Around 2/1/2017 I added a 350W front wheel kit from Electric bike outfitters, http://www.electricbikeoutfitters.com/ebo-cruiser.aspx
I didn't want to be the fastest kid on the block, but I do want to cruise with and sometimes without electric power. Hopefully this combination will be the ticket.
So far I've only put about 1.5 hours on the bike. I'm still in the test ride mode.
I'll post updates here.
Ken

Alphbetadog
1 year ago

I'm delighted with the EBO kits, and even put one on my wife's bike which has enabled us to do a lot more riding together. Almost every Sunday we ride quite a ways down the pathways to old town and have a nice lunch together. They are rated 350 watt geared motors and assist up to about 19-20mph, and I have gone 43 miles and still had a "bar" of charge remaining.

supramax
1 year ago

Very nice. I'll check out Electric Bike Outfitters. I was just reading a thread and watching a video on a Dillenger front wheel kit that was really affordable and had everything on my wish list for a conversion kit, except it was only a 350 motor and a front wheel conversion. I originally wanted the front wheel conversion, but I want more power and a rear wheel conversion seems a whole lot safer.

Alphbetadog
1 year ago

Supramax, if you already have a bike you like, a kit is a great way to go. I started out with putting an Electric Bike Outfitters kit on my old Trek 830 and it is a wonderful machine. In fact, it is my "go-to" bike for riding on the street, bike paths, and errands, despite my having a couple of mid-drive emtbs.

Ann M.
2 years ago

Exploring a more high powered direct drive motor system, Court reviews the rugged Electric Bike Outfitters' new Mountaineer system. This is an opportunity to see a system tested on a crunchy off road trail!

The Electric Bike Outfitters EBO Mountaineer is a high power, high speed electric bike kit capable of 30 mph top speeds, can be operated with pedal assist, trigger throttle or optional twist throttle. Heavier but sturdy 750 watt gearless hub motor, can be mounted in the front or rear wheel (I'd recommend front) and works with 0, 6, 7, 8 or 9 speed cassettes. Custom 25 Amp controller is built into a metal box that attaches to seat tube bosses so you need to make sure your bike has them there. More basic LED console with limited readouts, five magnet pedelec sensor isn't as responsive, decent warranty and overall low price for this much power and speed.

Tara D.
2 years ago

The Electric Bike Outfitters EBO Front Range Kit is a powerful gear-less hub motor kit capable of being installed as a front or rear wheel, sturdy and relatively quiet!

Ann M.
2 years ago

Denver based Electric Bike Outfitters newest kit, the Phantom, is either a front or rear mount with a narrow enough profile to install on a single gear bike. Nice too, is that this kit comes with disc brake mounting and available for a number of wheel sizes.

The Electric Bike Outfitters EBO Phantom Kit is an affordable electric bike kit with everything you need to get going: motor, battery, throttle, pedal assist. Custom designed casing is narrower than many other 350 watt motors and fits in 100 mm dropouts without scraping the fork, perfect for cycle cross, fixies and city style bike conversions. Front or rear wheel compatible, available in 16, 20, 24, 26 and 700c ~28" sizes, you choose from single speed, 6, 7, 8 or 9 speed cassette options for a bit extra. Fewer magnets on the cadence sensor (5 vs. 12) so not quite as responsive, have to take the crank arm off to get it installed, smaller battery capacity (but also lighter and smaller size), solid one year warranty on the kit.

WellOiledMachine
1 week ago

This kit is going to have a tough time competing with Bionx. Bionx kits start at $1299, have way more sophisticated tech, and a 3 year warranty. Lets face it, this kit is just re-branded parts you can find on AliExpress for half the price...and a 1 year warranty is pretty much worthless.

benzoesan sodu
2 weeks ago

That battery box like 6 years ago xD
Maybe for India market

Dreamer 111
2 weeks ago

2017 Haibike Hardseven 4.0 for 1.7k... or this kit for 1.4k?
:-)

Ginny Newman
2 weeks ago

Wish I would have known you were in the area. I build ebikes in Denver as well.

M Lord
2 weeks ago

Outstanding reviews! I appreciate that you review a broad range of products.
THANK YOU!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Hey! Thanks for the compliment again, I'll be covering the entire EBO line as well as Bulls and a bunch of other stuff soon. 2018 is looking great :D

Ian Mangham
2 weeks ago

My favourite motor, geared hub 250w minimal, 42v 15ah, because i feel 24mph is fast enough on a pushbike 😄

Ian Mangham
5 days ago

ElectricBikeReview.com Can't go wrong with a Bafang bro 😎👍

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

I'm with you on that, which motor do you like? It seems like Bafang is a leader with the aftermarket kits right now :)

David Keenan
2 weeks ago

Great idea for a bike you really love. Price is on the high side. This won't be for everyone. Still like the DIY approach to ebikes.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Me too, this was a really fun build to ride around on. I appreciate the versatility of kits and understand the higher price because of the custom casing design, throttle options, and support stuff :)

mattyj342111
2 weeks ago

It would be nice if you could add real world range test and hill climb on all your bike reviews those 2 tests would help out so much it’s so hard to get an idea about a bike with out the range and hill climb test

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

I feel ya, there weren't any hills around this particular location, but it's something I really strive for... keep in mind, I'm a relatively lightweight guy at ~135 :)

Seafox0011
2 weeks ago

Yup have a setup like this on a mountain bike frame - and switch modes to be road legal. What is good about these beefy kits with hub motors is that they can pull a lot of weight - I do my weekly grocery shopping carrying approx 50lbs in a backpack, plus I live in a hilly area. It's great to be able to just pull away at the lights and not be too bothered about getting snarled up in the diesel fumes of buses and taxis.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Exactly, that was one of the biggest challenges for me when commuting by bike in Austin, Texas. I found a face mask filter thing from Resporo or some company that helped but the ebike made the biggest difference :D

Daniele G
2 weeks ago

Nice review, thanks...
but price is definitely crazy!

Daniele G
2 weeks ago

10:29 and the USB charge from the battery is not activated ? It's a joke?

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

I have no idea what Garry Clark was trying to type there... hope he's okay! But yeah, the EBO kits seem to be priced a bit higher because of the support, custom spoking options, throttle choices etc.

Garry Clark
2 weeks ago

Daniele G no Thang bicycle motors are both fine bicycle nobles The fang bicycle motors

Silly Wabbits
2 weeks ago

Really clean kit

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Yeah, it's one of my favorites. Jason did a nice job with branding and his demo bikes are setup with the wires organized beautifully

Paul T
2 weeks ago

Good if there's motor overheat protection for the short local trips around long steep hills, where you know you have plenty of battery and so let the motor do more. Mine has no overheat protection, so I leave it on eco. Battery voltage display is good e.g. to stay between 41 V and 37 V (option to only charge to 41V is good, on mine I usually leave the battery power button off while charging which adds an extra diode drop, but occasionally fully charge in case cells need balancing). 3 batteries is nice to have, plus cycle spanner in casecof rear puncture.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Good point Paul, I reached out to the founder of EBO, Jason, and he said that they do have overheat protection and will shut off automatically to avoid damage. I'll be posting a review of their 500 watt Mountaineer and some others pretty soon, they would probably be the best option for hilly terrain :)

Honky Tonk
2 weeks ago

Please show how do you install the rear wheel with the hub motor conversion.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Thanks for the request, I wasn't able to do that with any of the EBO reviews this time because I was only in town for a couple of days... but I have done it with some of the older kits. I will try to do it more in the future as well :)

rik999
2 weeks ago

Court, your explanation of the hub motor at 7:20 seems somewhat garbled. The electromagnets are fixed to the central (sun) gear which is stationary and bolted to the drop outs. The rare earth magnets rotate the carrier with the three planetary gears you showed. Those planetary gears mesh with both the sun gear and and an internally toothed ring gear. The planet gear assembly walks around the sun gear and drives the ring gear (part of the outer motor housing). The ring gear/outer motor housing rotates the bicycle wheel through the spokes.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Excellent breakdown, I didn't have the correct terminology but was trying to point out the copper windings that create the electromagnets on the stationary sun gear as well as the rare Earth magnets on the carrier... I didn't explain the carrier vs. casing which connects to the spokes very well. I'll study your comment and be more precise in the future. Although, you will see a bunch more EBO reviews that may not be as detailed because they were all filmed in two days.

ArthurDentZaphodBeeb
2 weeks ago

Price seems ridiculously high considering you can buy purpose-built ebikes with same/better components for less than the kit alone.

Ian Mangham
5 days ago

Neezy Ko A kit like that with 10ah battery will only cost you £450 uk delivery from England so only 2 day's and it's here "they buy in bulk from China/Bafang, so let's say around the $500 mark, some have 13ah lion battery's. And ebay UK is the best for lion battery's, there's a German Manufacturer using a choice of Samsung or LG 18650 cells and they're priced very reasonably, for example a 36v "42v full charge" 13ah is approx $250 .

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Yeah, it's higher than some kits but does offer a lot of options with the different throttle setups and displays. They sell through shops, which requires a profit margin, and have the warranty support etc. that adds a bit to the cost :)

Neezy Ko
2 weeks ago

Yea, you could buy a much better fully built 48v Juiced Bike complete with torque sensing for a much smoother riding experience for $1700. Their price doesn't make sense for a DIY kit, for a 10AH battery kit, it should be less than $800.

stanley cartwright
2 weeks ago

As a user of ebikes I like watching your videos. The giant bikes with bosch are the only ones on display in the capital of Wales, uk. Ebikes are rare at £2500. Mine is a diy bewo kit (like bafang) but battery is £180 for similar lipo , 10AH 36 V. My bike was £150 + motor/control £300 + battery £180. I'll make a video for you just to show diy savings.

stanley cartwright
2 weeks ago

It's done 1200 miles. It was on a mongoose 26 inch wheel but now on a 28 inch wheel carerra. The 26 inch was better geared.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Cool! Sounds like a great setup! Is it working out well for you so far? How long have you had the kit going?